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Re: illegal use of debian logo ?

On Mon, Apr 18, 2005 at 03:46:13PM +0200, Ingo Ruhnke wrote:
> Jacques MICHAU <jacquesmichau@yahoo.fr> writes:
> > I was browsing a hardware web site, full of ads. My eyes stopped on a
> > banner : http://www.monsieurprix.com/images/pub/multepass/1.gif
> While its true that this is actually the real Debian spiral, I don't
> think there is all that much danger of confusion with the Debian
> project, color is different, there is no mention of 'Debian' and the
> thing is rotating. So it most likly just was some poor graphic
> designer that used the first spiral he could find without actually
> intending something evil. You could of course request that he changes
> the spiral to something else, but then spirals are not something uniq
> to Debian, lots and lots of spirals are in logos all over the world:
>  * http://www.splorp.com/critique/
> And that few pixels that make the Debian spiral distingushable from
> other spirals are really not all that significant in my opinion.

Beware that unlike copyright law, trademark law says that Debian
could completely loose its trademark if we don't enforce it in
borderline cases.  Typical ways of doing that:

* "cease and desist" letters that are obeyed

* lawsuit if "cease and desist" fails (expensive)

* granting an explicit license in exchange for the other logo
 user officially recognizing that this is still the Debian

* granting a mutual license where both Debian and the other
 party recognize that the other party has a similar trademark
 and each party granting the other a broad but limited license
 under their respective trademarks.

The point of the latter two methods is that if someone else
later holds up the licensed used as evidence that Debian's
trademark is not enforced and thus diluted, then Debian can pull
up the mutually signed agreement and say "your Honor, that
first guy IS doing something that requires our permission, he
just happens to have that permission, which the guy we are suing
today does not".

The point of the 4th method is that *both* parties get that
benefit, at the cost of a piece of paper.  At the same time,
both parties get assurance of not getting sued in case the other
party goes SCO.

I am not a lawyer, this is *not* legal advice.  The stuff I
wrote above may be completely wrong, other people on this list
can probably give a much better reply.

This message is hastily written, please ignore any unpleasant wordings,
do not consider it a binding commitment, even if its phrasing may
indicate so. Its contents may be deliberately or accidentally untrue.
Trademarks and other things belong to their owners, if any.

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